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Ireth_Telrunya
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Post Orcish language?
on: April 23, 2015 04:50
I'm curious as to whether there's any info in Tolkien's writings as to what orcs would have spoken prior to the development of Westron and the Black Speech (both of which developed in the Second Age). Going by the lore that says the orcs originated from elves corrupted by Morgoth not long after they awoke, I imagine primitive orcish would have derived from primitive elvish. Is there any info on proto-elvish that might help me extrapolate (or just plain invent) what proto-orcish might sound like?

I'm not looking for actual words here, just the basics of phonetics and whatever. Just enough for a character hearing it (in the early First Age, for reference) to be able to say "It sounded a little like X, but a lot more like Y", and for smushing some appropriate-sounding syllables together for the names of a few orc characters. Possibly an amalgamation of Quenya sounds with Black Speech sounds might do the trick if I can't find anything else, but I'd like to at least try to find an alternative first.
Far over the Misty Mountains cold, to dungeons deep and caverns old. We must away ere break of day, to claim our long forgotten gold.
Elthir
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on: April 23, 2015 09:49
I think the idea that Orcs (believed to be) from Elves might be misleading here.

The notion seems to have arisen in the early 1950s: admittedly, after Frodo is saved at Cirith Ungol, his statement to Sam hints at the idea that the orcs were corruptions of something, rather than being creations of Morgoth (as they were previously imagined), but in any case it is in the early 1950s that the notion is clearly set to paper (when JRRT went back to Silmarillion based texts)...

... before Tolkien himself either rejects the idea (later noting "Alter this. Orcs are not Elvish" in one instance) or at least entertains various scenarios with respect to the origin of orcs. In my opinion, if I had to guess anyway, Christopher Tolkien chose the early 1950s idea for his constructed Silmarillion mainly due to two factors:

A) It was represented as a belief of the Wise of Eressea. Despite that the reader will arguably be inclined to believe the Wise of Eressea, there is also some emphasis on the other side of the coin here, that the concept is still not a certain fact.

B) It did not play havoc with the time line Christopher Tolkien was also choosing to work with.

Anyway, Tolkien published (with respect to orcs in the Elder Days):

"it is said that they had no language of their own, but took what they could of other tongues and perverted it to their own liking, yet they made only brutal jargons, scarcely sufficient even for their own needs, unless it were for curses and abuse"

Appendix F


Some think that the word golug (Unfinished Tales) is based on Sindarin Golodh plural Gelydh and is thus a distortion of this Elvish word.

edit: by the way I added (edited in) just a bit to my last post in the Noldorin thread. Not that it will help any... it won't, and it's very general.

But just to note it

[Edited on 04/24/2015 by Elthir]
Ireth_Telrunya
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on: April 23, 2015 11:51
Okay, thanks!
Far over the Misty Mountains cold, to dungeons deep and caverns old. We must away ere break of day, to claim our long forgotten gold.
findemaxam48
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on: April 26, 2015 07:40
Just some questions about the Orc speech that we all heard in the Hobbit movies:how much of the language was attested from the works of Tolkien, if any? Or was it all made up by the linguists on the set?
We were one in the same, running like moths to the flame. You'd hang on every word I'd say, but now they only ricochet.
Elthir
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on: April 26, 2015 09:21
My guess is, a lot was invented

That said, the Orkish languages are supposed to differ from the Black Speech, even though some orcs might use a debased form of the Black Speech. For example: "... while the curse of the Mordor-orc (...) was in the more debased form used by the soldiers of the Dark Tower, of whom Grishnâkh was the captain." Appendix F

But that said too, even if the film linguists relied on attested forms of Black Speech to echo this, there is relatively very little of the Black Speech to work with!

The curse is: Uglúk u bagronk sha pushdug Saruman-glob búbhosh skai, which in one source Tolkien translated as: "Uglúk to the cesspool, sha! the dungfilth; the great Saruman-fool, skai!"

And in another source Tolkien also translated the same example as: "Uglúk to the dung-pit with stinking Saruman-filth, pig-guts, gah!"

So there's that :cough:

[Edited on 04/27/2015 by Elthir]
findemaxam48
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on: April 27, 2015 09:11
Hmm, that is very interesting. Funny how they made so much out of so little. Well, thank you though!
We were one in the same, running like moths to the flame. You'd hang on every word I'd say, but now they only ricochet.
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